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Council to consider changing meetings

2 November 2007

Christchurch City Council wants to get closer to its community through a proposed new meeting schedule and committee structure.

Councillors will discuss the proposal at a meeting next Wednesday after yesterday considering the best way to organise their monthly schedule.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says if adopted the new schedule will increase the profile and role of the city’s community boards and also allow the councillors to spend more time in their communities.

The proposal is based on a four week schedule. The first week will be for committee meetings, the second for a new meeting in which council  will primarily consider the community boards’ minutes and reports, the third for councillors to devote to community work and the fourth for the monthly full council meeting.

Bob Parker is proposing two new Council bodies – a Regulatory and Planning Committee and a Working Party to develop the next Long Term Council Community Plan.

“The new committee will be a forum to focus on planning issues which have been a growing concern for some time. It is time for Council to raise its profile in this area,” he says.

“The working party to develop the Community Plan is our response to bringing rates down to a sustainable level. We recognise it will be a tough job given the continuing inflationary pressures on our business and increasing expectations around service delivery. However keeping rates at an affordable level while still delivering excellent services is the single biggest issue for this Council and we need to steer our LTCCP in this direction.”

Mr Parker says in the past Community Board reports have been tacked onto the end of the Council agenda and passed in a hurry at the end of the day.

“In this proposal we want the Community Board chairs to attend the second meeting in the monthly cycle and present their reports and minutes. We need to know about the issues they are raising and to consider them properly.

“The Community Board structure we have in Christchurch is the envy of other parts of the country and we want it to have an even bigger focus.”

Staff briefings to councillors would be held after this meeting at a Councillors Workshop which would replace the current system of seminars.

The monthly Council meeting in the fourth week of the cycle would continue to be held on a Thursday.  It is hoped that Community Boards can coincide their meetings with the third week when councillors are back in their community.

“The proposal is designed to get Councillors off the meeting treadmill and back to their real job of representing and making decisions on behalf of their community,” Bob Parker says.

“This is about us getting back to grassroot politics and hearing what our community is saying.”


For more information contact:

Mayor Bob Parker 0274434575


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